Thursday, 17 July 2014

Hi ho, Hi ho...Bank holiday weekend work

I wish you could hear the bird song going on outside in the back garden. It's beautiful. Do they sing because they are happy to be alive or because they need to or is it for my pleasure - today it's hard to tell.

So I'm standing here in the corner of the kitchen which looks out to all those shades of green and brown and red in the little oasis Andrew has built me; I picked a good one there :) I'm making more red gooseberry jam, only really it sets like a jelly. It's so calming to just be at the point where the kitchen has been tidied up, dishes done and all I have to do is watch over this saucepan, stirring it often and marvelling my apothecary skills :)

making red gooseberry jam  - '' ~ an allotment blog

Yesterday was a truly awful day, and that doesn't even include my visit to the dentist (I deserved a sticker for my dental hygiene, why is it only kids get them, haha); today is still bad but at least I'm off the sofa and not constantly sleeping. I count that as a good thing and the start of another batch of good days to come soon.

There are many a photo and tales to tell from our extended weekend. In case you were unaware, Northern Ireland just had the 12th parades which takes over the weekend, thus people get Monday off  too and in some cases even the Tuesday (Andrew is one of those lucky latter ones). We had plans to attack the allotment and visit a beautiful National Trust property but in the end is was all Lottie and watching films :)

The first few days I didn't even take my camera - I was there to work. But I had my phone and grabbed some important moments :) The first of which you all know is my favourite - digging up the spud harvest. How kind of Andrew to let me enjoy the magic furtling alone.

12th July 2014
Saxon potatoes out. We're eating these now and they are beautiful. Taste rather like Pentland Javelin but slightly waxy, they hold their shape really well. Andrew has been making Patatas Bravas with them - yum!)
Saxon potatoes  - '' ~ an allotment blog

Kestrel potatoes out. My goodness the yield on this variety is insane but sadly I had to throw a lot out too, they same a little more prone to green patches and invertebrates eating away at them). We have yet to try them.
Kestrel potatoes  - '' ~ an allotment blog

Some of both that show the problems of inconstant watering... rain makes them swell and then suddenly it gets warm and they dry out a good bit and spilt :(
cracked potatoes  - '' ~ an allotment blog

Andrew took the last mangetout harvest and removed the peas and the frame altogether. Those were excellent mangetout; I think we have a little tiny bag left now. We've been much better at only growing what we need and not getting gluts this year, successional sowing is the key!

The perpetual spinach was thinned out by Andrew too and all the stuff in that bed look great; really healthy. I must say I am rather excited by the sweetcorn and we have even eaten a mini courgette already :)
great looking veggies  - '' ~ an allotment blog

* Maggie simply wasn't in the mood for all this work, hahaha *
Maggie - '' ~ an allotment blog

Bees all over the new batch of broad beans; love the big pollen lump on his leg. Bees really do love a good pea flower, at any one time there will be at least 2 or 3 bees doing their thing on this little patch.
bee at the broad bean flowers - '' ~ an allotment blog

And that's enough for one day I think, plenty more to share though...
Carrie xxx


  1. Do you think bumblebees like broad bee flowers because they look like them. Maybe they are lured by the promise of love!

    1. Haha! That's such a cute idea, I love it. Though so much unrequited love in my plot...sad times!

  2. Kestrel potatoes do grow close to the surface so need earthing up more than other varieties to stop them going green. I've never had a problem with them splitting like that.
    Happy gardening. Flighty xx

    1. Ah. Thank you again Flighty, we obviously didn't do that well enough and the soil in that bed (though it's has so much grit and food and manure over the years) is so clay-y. The splitting happens so easily in soil like that...a good soaking from days of heavy rain, then it turns straight into a heat wave and you can't water them enough!


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